Some municipalities of Latvia still stalling emergency plan development

By 1 January 2024, all municipalities had to include in their civil protection plan a section on action in the event of a military invasion or war, yet four municipalities still have not, Latvian Radio reported on May 7.

An Annex to the Civil Protection Plan in cases of military threat had to be drawn up by the beginning of this year, the necessity and term of the plans were laid down in the Law and Cabinet of Ministers Regulations in the autumn of 2022.

But there are still four municipalities for which no addition to this plan has been drawn up. Which municipalities these are is not yet disclosed. About two weeks ago, there were eight such municipalities.

Dāvids Valters, councilor of the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments in legal matters, told Latvian Radio that the problem is that, in order to create the necessary documents for the Civil Protection Plan, there is a great deal to do with access to state secrets. Some representatives of the local government who do not have access to state secrets are working on the development of this plan or annex.

The Saeima sub-committee on the matter, though, said Tuesday at its meeting that this is not a problem and that local governments can do it.

As explained, for example, by Deputy Chief of the State Fire and Rescue Service Ivars Nakurts – if the head of the local government, the executive director, or anyone else has permission for restricted information, then they may, when reading the relevant documents, give a specific task to colleagues when they do not know at all that they are dealing with information that is restricted.

As emphasized by the Chairman of the Comprehensive State Defense Committee of the Saeima, non-faction deputy Igors Rajevs, local governments that have not yet developed the necessary documents, may be trying to look for excuses.

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